28 Apr 2009 04:04:13
Grand Designs urges government to retrofit existing houses
Government plans to reduce the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent over the next 40 years have been called into question at a trade show in the capital.
Kevin McCloud, television presenter and eco-minded property expert, has suggested that there is no chance of reaching the ambitious milestone unless efforts are made to address the state of the country's existing housing stock.
Speaking at the Grand Designs Live London show on April 25th, Mr McCloud argued that there is "not a hope in hell" of meeting the target without significantly improving the energy efficiency of the 26 million existing homes that will still be standing in 2050.
"Its a big challenge we've got and we need to do it quickly because we need to start refurbishing now; 50,000 homes next year, 100,000 the next year, 1.6 million homes a year by 2020," he said.
The television presenter took the opportunity to launch a new scheme, which is being backed by organisations including the Energy Saving Trust (EST), the UK Green Building Council and the WWF.
Grand Designs Great British Refurb will call on the government to provide households with the means and incentives to pay for green refurbishments, in a bid to encourage more people to reduce their carbon footprints.
Mr McCloud estimated that the nation's existing housing stock accounts for 27 percent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions.
According to the EST, if every household installed one energy-saving lightbulb, this figure would be reduced by the equivalent of removing 93,000 cars from UK roads.http://www.greatbritishrefurb.co.uk/